Whistleblower directives: Competent Authority

Competent Authorities supervising law and regulations rely on the reporting of Undertakings, and the accuracy and honesty of such reporting. Competent Authorities take comfort from effectively structured organisational reporting hierarchies, including Whistleblower reporting; together with the associated documented response procedures. On an on-going basis, Competent Authorities have a keen interest in the nature of reports received by an Undertaking as well as how they are responded to, including the content and timeliness of any information shared by the Undertaking with the Competent Authorities. This aforementioned content can be subject to retrospective scrutiny by a Component Authority in a variety of circumstances.

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Scope and Obligations for Competent Authorities

Navigate the tabs to explore and compare the Competent Authorities' rights and obligations towards the respective entities.


Specific obligations of the Competent Authority - CH
Specific obligations of the Competent Authority - EU

Obligation to establish external Reporting Channels, which:

  • Are independent and autonomous (secure and ensure confidentiality);
  • Give feedback to the Whistleblower
  • Transmit contained information on to competent offices, bodies etc. of the Union.
  • Establish external reporting channels 
  • Have dedicated Staff members who are trained to handle report

Obligation to implement procedures, which provide:

  • The manner in which a competent authority may require the Whistleblower to clarify the information reported;
  • A timeframe for response and feedback
  • Confidentiality regime applicable to reports
  • Review reporting procedure at least once every three years


Specific obligations of the Competent Authority - CH
  • Following the report of the Whistleblower, the Competent Authority has an obligation to inform the Whistleblower about the status and treatment of the report within 14 days, otherwise they have the right to go public.
Specific obligations of the Competent Authority - EU
  • Acknowledgement of report within seven days, and provision of feedback to the Whistleblower about the follow-up of the report within a reasonable timeframe (not exceeding three months from time of initial reporting, six months in duly exceptional instances).

Explore and compare the new EU Directive and most recent Swiss proposal

The interactive diagram below sets out how a Whistleblower, Undertaking and Component Authority interact with each other. We encourage you to explore the accessible content and get in touch with our experts Susanne Hofmann and Gianfranco Mautone to continue this conversation in more depth.


Whistleblowers acting in good faith regarding qualifying subjects are entitled to protection.

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The EU Directive requires that Undertakings with more than 50 employees and all Undertakings operating in regulated industries establish a Whistleblowing reporting framework. Undertakings have obligations to Whistleblowers and the Competent Authority. The Swiss proposal refers to “Employers” rather than Undertakings.

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Competent Authority

The EU Directive places additional obligations on Competent Authorities in respect of training, reporting and engagement with Undertakings. 

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Recent history has included high profile examples of Whistleblowers reporting directly to the public.

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Contact us

Andreas Staubli

Andreas Staubli

CEO, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 44 72

Alister Smith

Alister Smith

Senior Manager, Forensic Services, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 47 96